United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Data-driven exploration and modelling of the interconnectedness of Sustainable Development Goals


    By analysing the time series data collected at national level on the indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the adaptation pathways of the countries can be identified, and it is possible to group the countries based on SDG problems and successes, which helps the common knowledge accumulation and effective implementation.


    The objective of the practice is to explore the interrelationships of SDG indicators using novel data- and network science tools and to provide an evidence-based decision-making toolkit for the decision makers. These analyses based on time series data also identify adaptation pathways, which are further analysed with own developed similarity measures. The aim is to be able to compare all geographical areas of the world based on the same objective set of criteria.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The project has developed an SDG achievement evaluation methodology that identifies not only the current SDG state but also the speed of development and realistically achievable targets for the countries of the world. As the geographical coverage of the analyses is global, it can serve as a useful decision support tool for all countries. With our comprehensive analyses, we can understand the synergies and trade-offs in the field of SDG, thus enabling more effective strategy-making.

    Implementation methodologies

    The project is carried out by two research groups (MTA-PE “Lendület” Complex Systems Monitoring Research Group and Sustainability Solutions Research Lab) of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Pannonia with the support of the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology. The new developed tools are freely published in the spirit of open science, so the analyses can be repeated at any time and the results can be used in the implementation of SDGs worldwide.


    The tools developed for comprehensive analysis of the UN Global SDG database and World Bank data are available for everyone and the new scientific findings are continuously published in international scientific journals, giving researchers and stakeholders direct access to new scientific findings and their use in strategy-making. One of the main impacts of this good practice is to provide a benchmarking basis for countries around the world. As the analyses were carried out at national level, it is possible to compare adaptation pathways, that allow countries in a similar situation to share their experiences and good practices in a targeted way.

    Factors and Constraints

    The research would not have been possible without the support of the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology. The gestor of methodological developments is the Faculty of Engineering, University of Pannonia.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The methodologies and algorithms developed in this good practice are freely available on the authors' website (https://www.abonyilab.com/), so in accordance with the principles of open science, the results can be reproduced at any time and used for further analyses or to support decision-making in SDG strategy planning.

    COVID-19 Impact

    The analyses are based on country-specific SDG indicators and thus implicitly include the impacts of COVID-19. Based on time series data, it helps to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on SDGs, so this practice can contribute to better building back through the exploration of causal relationships.

    Contact Name
    Abonyi Lab
    Geographical coverage


    01 January 2018 (start date)
    01 January 2023 (date of completion)
    More information
    Contact Information

    Viktor, Data-driven exploration and modelling of the interconnectedness of Sustainable Development Goals